It was my freshman year at Fresno State when I volunteered at the Temple Beth Israel. I had recently joined Alpha Sigma Phi and was interested in learning more about what the fraternity was all about. When I got in contact with the community service director Maxwell Hill, I learned about how involved the fraternity was in regards to charity. He then invited me to join him and the fraternity to volunteer at his Jewish temple. Our task was to remove the really old sand pit from the Temple playground. The tarp underneath the sand pit had holes and there was an infestation of cockroaches! Children should be able to have fun and enjoy playing around in the sand pit without worrying about cockroaches. It was something was in dire need of replacement.

When I got to the service event, which was at 8:00 in the morning, I can say I was surprised by how many people came out to help remodel the sand pit. I know students constantly despise early morning classes so it was awesome that everyone wanted to help. It was so much fun meeting new people and working together to revitalize the playground. The volunteer project probably lasted only an hour and a half, but it was because of the hard work everyone put into it. Not to mention how much fun I had throughout my whole experience at the service event. Once we finished applying the new tarp and cockroach-free sand, we participated in a competitive GaGa Pit tournament. I also found it rewarding to learn more about the Jewish culture and beliefs.

The whole community service event was a memorable experience that inspired me to later become the community service director for Alpha Sigma Phi. I was inspired by the fact that several members of the fraternity took time out of their day to help, regardless of the different culture. I thought to myself “would I have ever volunteered at a different religions church/mosque/temple?” I didn’t see myself voluntarily participating in an event that wasn’t a part of my culture. This was a harsh realization that even though I may not be in the same religion or culture, the purpose is always the same; and that is to help others.

– Ambassador Juan Carlos